Bringing life's work to market: Frontiers, framings, and frictions in marketised social reproduction

Emily Rosenman, Jessa Loomis, Dan Cohen, Tom Baker

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorialpeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The introduction to this theme issue discusses a series of papers examining the increasing marketisation of social reproduction and its effects on systems that sustain human and social life. This is done by examining the frontiers, framings, and frictions that arise when market systems are constructed to enable capital accumulation in the realm of social reproduction. Frontiers identify the expansion of market logic into new areas, framings explore how financial actors attempt to bring the logic of social reproduction within the purview of market competition, and frictions highlight the various tensions that generate resistance to the roll out of market logics. Through establishing these three areas, we argue that both market structures and systems of social reproduction should be understood as geographically variegated and, at times, uncertain. This variegation necessitates an understanding of marketised social reproduction as forged through complex articulations of market and non-market logics. Using cases from surrogacy to smart electricity meters, the papers in this theme issue illustrate that while these articulations may generate benefits for some individuals, households and communities, such processes of marketisation can introduce new layers of inequity and undermine the ethical relations and social commitments that sustain life—in the service of enabling accumulation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)190-198
Number of pages9
JournalEnvironment and Planning A
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)

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